It’s that time of year again, making runs to Target and Walmart to purchase back to school items for your kids. However, it definitely looks much different this year. Whether your child’s education will be virtual, hybrid, in person, or a combination of it all, we’re here to tell you about some of our favorite must-have products that may help make the school year a little bit easier.
We polled our contributors to find out what items they love and would recommend as a must for school this year. Whether you are converting an area of your home to a learning space or getting ready to send your children to a traditional classroom for face-to-face learning, you are sure to find these products helpful during this crazy school year.
1. Personalized Kids Name Labels. This is most definitely not the year for your child to be sharing any of their school supplies. Name labels should be used on everything! You can put them on all school supplies, as well as water bottles. They do not fade or come off in the dishwasher. Both of these sites are highly recommended: Tinyme and Bright Star Kids.
2. Library Card. There is no need to spend money on books at your local bookstore or Amazon when you can visit your local library for FREE! If you do not have a library card, it’s super easy to apply for one. Just visit this site and fill out the forms, take the necessary documents to the library branch closest to you, and you will have access to numerous books for yourself and your child.
3. Tiered rolling cart. This is recommended by one of our homeschool moms. She can place all school supplies in the cart and easily roll it around throughout her house to always have anything she might need close by.
4. Epson Ecotank Printer. This is another item recommended by one of our homeschool moms. When you are educating from home, it often requires a lot of printing. I don’t know about you, but my kids tend to learn better when they have actual papers rather than digital worksheets. This printer’s ink lasts quite a while, as in eight months without a low ink notice!
5. Insulated stainless steel cup. For all of you coffee drinkers out there, invest in one of these! Sometimes during hectic mornings, you need your coffee to stay hot, but at the same time, you may not always get to enjoy your hot coffee right away. This is sure to keep your coffee hot for as long as you need.
6. Water bottle. Students who are attending face-to-face classes this year will need a water bottle. Water fountains are either being covered or taken out of schools so students will need to bring their own water to school. Some schools are even investing in touchless water refill machines so your child will be able to refill their own water bottles without spreading germs.
7. Dry erase pockets. Rather than laminating worksheets or using thin sheet protectors, try using these dry erase pockets instead. You simply place a worksheet through the top and your child can practice tracing letters, writing words and more. When they are done, they can erase and try again. Bonus: They are only $10 at Target for a pack of 10. You can also find them on Amazon.
8. Long charging cords. This may be more for middle or high school students; however, many elementary schools are providing computers this year. It’s a good idea to invest in a power strip or charging cord that is at least 10 feet long. This is especially helpful for students who will be learning at school so if they need to charge their device, it can reach their regular seat, rather than having to sit by an outlet against the wall.
9. Electric pencil sharpener. I don’t know about you, but I get super frustrated when my kids need a sharpened pencil and we have to use a small handheld sharpener that takes forever to use and does a terrible job. Invest in an electric pencil sharpener for your home! I love this Wescott iPoint Halo pencil sharpener. I have one at home and one at school. It automatically shuts off once the pencil has been fully sharpened. I snagged mine at Costco, but you can also find them on Amazon.
10. Cut n’ Seal. Packing and preparing lunch for the school day can be a daunting task. Uncrustables are always a super easy option to quickly grab from the freezer and toss into a lunchbox as you are headed out the door. If you want to put a fun twist on the Uncrustable, you can always make your own with this Cut n’ Seal by The Pampered Chef. If you make your own, you can twist things up and fill it with deli meat or cheese. Good news: This product is available on Amazon.
11. Masks. If your kids are attending school face-to-face, they will likely need masks, as many schools are requiring them this school year. One of our moms recommends to “splurge on the super cool ones” rather than making them wear solid color ones. You can check Etsy or search for Facebook groups to find people who make child-sized masks with fun fabrics such as Spiderman and Disney princesses. Better yet, let your child pick out the designs, as he or she will likely enjoy wearing them more if they are fun designs.
12. Lanyard. The last thing you want is your child putting a face mask back on that has fallen on and touched the dirty floor. Your child can use a lanyard to attach to one side of his mask, so when he takes it off to eat lunch or take it off to get a sip of water, the mask will simply hang around his neck. Since younger children are prone to dropping things on the floor, I think this is a GREAT idea!